Arizona State Football: Will Sutton Leads Group of Pac-12 All-Conference Team

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Mark J. Rebilas-US Presswire

The Pac-12 Conference announced the All-Conference teams yesterday in California, and there were no surprises with USC Trojans receiver Marqise Lee and Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Will Sutton receiving top honors.

The Defensive Player of the Year is named after somebody that everybody in Sun Devil Nation as well as the Conference knows, honors and respects—Pat Tillman.

tillmanFor those that don’t know, Tillman was a linebacker for Arizona State from 1994-97, was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the all-league team every year. The Academic All-American graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Marketing and has garnered several honors including the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Although Sutton was injured in the first series against Oregon, missed the game against UCLA and was at 75 percent strength against Oregon State, he leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth in the FBS with 20 total tackles for loss and 1.82 per game.

Sutton ranks third in the conference and 12th in the FBS with .95 sacks per game (10.5 total) and heads up a stout defensive squad that is second in the nation in both sacks per game and tackles for loss per game.

The Bednarik Award finalist is the fifth Sun Devil to receive the prestigious honor following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Tillman and joining past standouts like Adam Archuleta, Terrell Suggs and Dale Robinson.

Brandon Magee

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  • Position: Linebacker
  • Year: Senior
  • Selection: Second Team Defense

Brandon Magee was named to the Pac-12 second team defense after missing the entirety of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.

He is second in the conference with 9.5 tackles per game (104 total) and .59 sacks per game (6.5 total).

After a successful 2010 season where he and fellow linebacker Vontaze Burfict wreaked havoc on opposing offenses, Magee was destined for another great season in 2011 until the preseason camp injury. Magee battled back to greatness in his final season with the football team as well as a member of the Sun Devil baseball team that twice went to the College World Series.

Magee made an immediate impact with a 45-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the first game of the season against Northern Arizona and put an exclamation point on the final game of his career against the University of Arizona with 17 tackles, 14 of them solo.

Alden Darby

Alden Darby

  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Year: Junior
  • Selection: Second Team Defense

Alden Darby is a dynamo in the secondary for the Sun Devils and has motivated the offense with his stellar plays on defense.

His three interceptions, including a 70-yard return for touchdown against USC, rank him fourth in the country for interception yards and have made him a household name in the desert.

Darby has a total of 72 tackles, 49 of them solo with an average of 6.0 per game. He also earned the right to wear the esteemed camouflage No. 42 jersey in practice.

Josh Hubner

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  • Position: Punter
  • Year: Senior
  • Selection: Second Team Specialists

This is quite an honor after he was snubbed as a finalist for the annual Ray Guy Award honoring the nation’s best punter.

Hubner leads the conference and is ranked third in the FBS with an average of 47.1 yards per punt. His longest punt of 73 yards is also tops in the conference and eighth in the nation.

The senior punter excels at placing his punts inside the 20-yard line with over 40 in his two years for the Sun Devils.

Taylor Kelly

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Kelly finished the season 224-of-340 for 2,772 yards, 25 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. His completion percentage of 65.9 percent puts him at third in the conference, and his total yards places him in fourth.

He comes in at fourth in the conference in total touchdowns and ranks second with 8.2 average yards per pass attempt. This feat also ranks him No. 23 in the nation.

His nine interceptions ranks him well above his conference peers with at least 250 pass attempts. Oregon’s freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota has the fewest with six in his 312 attempts.

His quarterback rating of 153.3 rates him third in the conference and 22nd in the FBS. Kelly ranks fourth in the conference both in total yards per game with 267.2  and average passing yards per game with 231.

I feel that it is safe to say that the quarterback controversy is over, although backup QB Michael Eubank will still get the calls on goal-line stands.

Marion Grice

  • Position: Running Back
  • Year: Junior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

“Grice is Nice” is a popular saying in Tempe as Grice sparked the running game…out of the backfield. With 17 touchdowns on the season, eight of them are receiving, making him a dual threat.

His 102 total points and 8.5 average points per game ranks him third in the conference and tied for 25th in the FBS.

He leads all running backs in the nation with eight receiving touchdowns, and is tied at No. 14 for total touchdowns, with 17.

Chris Coyle

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  • Position: Tight End
  • Year: Junior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Chris Coyle led the Sun Devils in receiving this year with 53 receptions for 659 yards. Coyle follows in the footsteps of former Arizona State standout tight ends Todd Heap and Zach Miller; the only thing missing was the No. 86 on his jersey.

Coyle finished the season as the third-best tight end in the nation for receptions, and his total yards are fourth best.

Coyle looks to build on his recent success as his five touchdowns were more than that of his predecessors who now receive NFL paychecks.

Keelan Johnson

  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Year: Senior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Keelan Johnson finished his senior season in grand fashion. With 81 total tackles, 60 of them solo, Johnson averaged 6.8 tackles per game.

His five interceptions ties him for eighth in the nation and second in the Pac-12. Johnson is also tied with teammate Osahon Irabor for fifth in the conference for passes defended, with 13 total and an average of 1.08 per game.

Evan Finkenberg

  • Position: Left Tackle
  • Year: Junior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

After completing his third year protecting the quarterbacks at Arizona State, Finkenberg is being recognized as one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

The ironic thing about offensive linemen is that when they receive media attention, it is usually not something good. As long as the skill players are doing well, that means the line is doing their job. When star players fail to impress, the first people to be blamed are the offensive linemen.

Finkenberg began the year as part of Athlon Sports All-Pac-12 second team after a stand-out sophomore season during which he started 10 games.

Carl Bradford

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  • Position: Linebacker
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

The redshirt sophomore out of Norco, California had a stand-out year for the Sun Devils and is a major part of the Sun Devils’ No. 2 defense in the Pac-12 Conference.

His 10.5 sacks has him tied for second in the conference and tied for 14th in the country. He also ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 17.5 tackles-for-loss and averages 1.46 per game.

DJ Foster

  • Position: Running Back
  • Year: Freshman
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

The hometown freshman had a great debut as a Sun Devil. He finished with 492 net rushing yards and 522 receiving yards.

His six touchdowns, two rushing and four receiving, was third on the team behind Marion Grice and Cameron Marshall.

Osahon Irabor

  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Year: Junior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Irabor finished his junior year tied sixth in the conference with 13 total passes defended and an average of 1.08 per game.

He finished with 35 tackles and a big interception in the annual Territorial Cup against the Arizona Wildcats.

Rashad Ross

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  • Position: Wide Receiver/Return Specialist
  • Year: Senior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Ross had a great year in returning kicks and finished fifth in the conference with a 25.6 average per return. He was one of three players to return a kickoff 100 yards for the score.

Ross also had three touchdowns from the receiver slot and averaged 14.3 yards per reception and 39.2 yards per game.

Deveron Carr

  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Year: Senior
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Carr finished the year with great numbers, including 22 tackles, an interception and seven passes defended.

Jaxon Hood

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • Year: Freshman
  • Selection: Honorable Mention

Jaxon Hood filled in nicely for Will Sutton in his absence. He will continue to learn and be an integral part of the defense.

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